Group of students walking around

Grad Alumni Ambassadors

Grad Alumni Ambassadors are UNLV graduate degree holders who work with the Graduate College to help represent the graduate alumni body. Goals include building a strong graduate alumni community; working with the Graduate College to extend mentorship and professional development opportunities to current students; and strengthening ties between the Graduate College, alumni, and our broader community members.

Maria Aladjova

Grad Alumni Ambassador

A woman smiling
Maria came to UNLV in 2004 to join the UNLV Rebels Volleyball team. During her four years, she performed outstandingly both on the court and in the classroom. She graduated with Bachelors of A in Psychology with two minors, in Marriage and Family Therapy and in Human Services. She continued her professional career as a volleyball player in Europe. In 2016, she was offered to a Graduate...

Omar Anderson

Grad Alumni Ambassador

Omar Anderson
Omar Anderson is an IT Auditor and Digital Accelerator at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and has experience working on Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) and Information Technology General Controls (ITGCs) audits across the banking, capital markets, and health industries. Omar moved to Las Vegas from Los Angeles in 2016 and pursued and completed his master’s degree at UNLV in Management Information Systems (MIS...

Kavita Batra

Grad Alumni Ambassador

Kavita Batra
Dr. Kavita Batra serves as a Biostatistician with the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services and the School of Medicine (UNLV). Over the past years, she has taught several public health and general education courses, including Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Human Anatomy, and Physiology. Dr. Batra received her Ph.D. from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, in May 2020. Her research focuses...

Bree Boppre

Grad Alumni Ambassador

Bree Boppre
Dr. Breanna Boppre, Ph.D. was the first to graduate from UNLV's Criminology and Criminal Justice doctoral program in 2018. She was recognized as an Outstanding Graduate from UNLV. She is now an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at Wichita State University in Kansas. Her research examines correctional policies, women and youth system-involvement, and the impacts of incarceration on families...

Celeste Calkins

Grad Alumni Ambassador

Celeste Calkins
Celeste is an Institutional Research Data Analyst in the Office of Decision Support at UNLV. One of the primary aims of her role is to collaborate on research projects that have institutional implications, resulting in solutions to support the success of students, faculty, and staff, and that further the institutional mission. Celeste began her time at UNLV in the Fall of 2014, moving to Las...

Denise Cook

Grad Alumni Ambassador

Dr. Cook is a Survey Statistician with the US Census Bureau in Washington, DC.  In her current role, she facilitated the development of over 142, 2020 Decennial Census reports.  In addition to certificates in Nonprofit Management, Public Management, Teaching, and Research; she is a statistician by training and received a BA from California State University, Sacramento earning the...

Patrick Daleiden

Grad Alumni Ambassador

Patrick Daleiden
Patrick is a 2020 Ph.D. graduate from the UNLV Department of Computer Science. During his six years at UNLV he worked as a graduate assistant in Dr. Andreas Stefik’s Software Development and Media Lab. His research work included developing accessible software libraries for the blind and visually impaired community, running human subjects trials on how people write software (particularly for high...

Jessica DeBerardinis

Grad Alumni Ambassador

Jessica DeBerardinis
Jessica DeBerardinis currently works for Ultramet as a research engineer and at California State University - Los Angeles as an Instructor. She has experience in materials analysis, including refractory metals, ceramics, and biological tissues, and enjoys designing material solutions for extreme and unique environments. She completed her Ph.D. at UNLV in Mechanical Engineering, winning Best...

Katelyn DiBenedetto, Ph.D.

Grad Alumni Ambassador

Photo of Katelyn Dibenedetto
Katelyn DiBenedetto is a research analyst at the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP),where she is a member of the policy research team. Her research interests include college access and affordability and federal higher education policy. Prior to joining IHEP, DiBenedetto was a Postdoctoral Scholar with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ (UNLV) Graduate College. As a postdoc, she had...

Christine Draper, Ph.D.

Grad Alumni Ambassador

Christine Draper
Christine Draper is an Instructional Designer in the Office of Online Education. Prior to joining UNLV Christine was an Associate Professor of Education at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, GA from 2007-2017 where she supervised field placements and taught courses in teacher education, literacy, children’s and young adult literature, literature and writing, integrated curriculum, and...

Jeff Eggleston

Grad Alumni Ambassador

Jeff Eggleston
Dr. Jeff Eggleston is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Texas at El Paso, joining the department in Fall 2018. Dr. Eggleston completed his PhD at the UNLV in Interdisciplinary Health Sciences, with a focus in Biomechanics. Dr. Eggleston’s primary research interest include lower extremity function during locomotor activities in individuals with chronic...

Jason Frank

Grad Alumni Ambassador

Jason Frank
Jason Frank is the Associate Athletic Director for Students Services and Academics for Chicago State University Athletics. Previously, he served as the Director for Academics and Student-Athlete Development at GCU. In this role, he served as the academic coordinator for the GCU baseball and women’s basketball programs. Additionally, he worked as the Volunteer Coordinator at the WAC Basketball...

Natasha Garcia

Grad Alumni Ambassador

U.N.L.V. sign placeholder
Natasha was born and raised in Las Vegas, NV. She graduated from UNLV in Fall 2017 with her Bachelor’s in Accounting and graduated in Spring 2020 with her Master’s in Accounting. Natasha currently holds a position as an Accountant at The Public Education Foundation and has experience in hospitality and non-profit accounting. Throughout the year Natasha has worked with UNLV DECA and Nevada DECA,...

Yulia Gavrilova

Grad Alumni Ambassador

Yulia Gavrilova
Dr. Yulia Gavrilova is a clinical psychology research faculty in the College of Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina where she conducts clinical research and provides clinical services for child and adult patients who are admitted to acute care medical emergency department and Level 1 trauma center for the treatment of traumatic physical injuries. Dr. Gavrilova graduated from...

Ivan Ivanov

Grad Alumni Ambassador

Ivan Ivanov
Bulgarian born clarinetist Ivan Ivanov studied at the Sofia State Academy of Music "Pancho Vladigerov" and finished his Bachelor's degree with distinctions. In 2004 Mr. Ivanov became a permanent member of the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra and worked with such conductors as Sir. Neville Marriner, Jean Bernard Pommier, Rossen Milanov, Shungo Moriyama, Heinz Hellberg and others. In addition to his...

Johanna Adlam

Grad Alumni Ambassador

Dr. Johanna E. Adlam is a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Center for Health Disparities Research in the School of Public Health as well as a Part-Time Instructor in the Honors College at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Dr. Adlam has over ten years of experience conducting interdisciplinary research studies and leading diverse research teams at the academic and health system level. As a social...

Anthony Jordan

Grad Alumni Ambassador

U.N.L.V. sign placeholder
Anthony Jordan is a Professor of Government at Central Texas College. Upon taking the position in Fall 2018, he has taught Federal Government and Texas Government. He also serves as Chapter Advisor for the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. In these roles he mentors both traditional and non- traditional college students and aids in the developing of their professional skills. He believes...

Erdogan Kaya, M.S.

Grad Alumni Ambassador

Erdogan Kaya
Kaya is an assistant professor of education in the College of Education and Human Development at George Mason University. He has a Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction and teaches methods courses. He received his MS degree in computer science and engineering and holds a BS degree in chemical engineering. He coached robotics teams and was awarded several grants that promote Science, Technology,...

Jake Livengood

Grad Alumni Ambassador

Jake Livengood
Jake has worked in higher education since 2002 as an instructor, career advisor and administrator at a variety of colleges and universities around the U.S, including MIT, Boston University, Loyola Chicago, and UNLV. He received the MIT Infinite Mile Award for Innovation and Creativity for developing and facilitating improv comedy workshops to help with training and professional development. He...

Joy A. McKenna

Grad Alumni Ambassador

Joy McKenna
Dr. Joy A. McKenna is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Microbiology and Immunology department at Stanford University School of Medicine. Her research focuses on how bacterial pathogens, such as Salmonella and Shigella, interact with our cells to cause disease. During her time at UNLV, McKenna earned both her B.S. and Ph.D. in Biology. Her dissertation focused on understanding how virulence genes...

Michael Moncrieff

Grad Alumni Ambassador

Michael Moncrieff
Michael Moncrieff is a postdoctoral researcher in social sciences at the Law Faculty of the University of Geneva, Department of Public International Law and International Organization. He is in charge of the empirical dimensions and field research of the project ‘Preventing and Combating Terrorism and Violent Extremism: Towards a Legal-Empirical Approach’. He specializes on the sociopolitical and...

Rafael Oganesyan, Ph.D.

Grad Alumni Ambassador

Rafael Oganesyan
Rafael Oganesyan is the Program Manager at the Office of Undergraduate Research. Prior to his current position, Rafael served as a postdoctoral scholar at the Graduate College, where he helped manage certificates and programs offered by the Professional Development Academy. Rafael is a four-time UNLV alum, having received Bachelor of Arts degrees in Economics and Political Science (2008; 2010),...

Ryan Romero

Grad Alumni Ambassador

Ryan Romero

Caitlin J. Saladino, Ph.D.

Grad Alumni Ambassador

A woman with glasses smiling
Caitlin J. Saladino serves as the Director of Strategic Development at The Lincy Institute and Brookings Mountain West. The Lincy Institute is a public policy think tank organized to conduct and support research improving health, education, economic development, governance, non-profits, and social services in Nevada. Brookings Mountain West is a partnership between UNLV and the...

Surbhi Sharma

Grad Alumni Ambassador

U.N.L.V. sign placeholder
Dr. Surbhi Sharma received her Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology in 2018, which was followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at Oh Laboratory of Neurogenetics and Personalized Medicine, UNLV. During her stay at UNLV, she was actively engaged in research, scholarship, and creative activities. As an active member of the Graduate and Professional Students Association, both as a Council member and as...

Marta Soligo

Grad Alumni Ambassador

Woman Smiling
Marta Soligo works as a Research Faculty at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’s International Gaming Institute. At UNLV, she also teaches Sociology of Leisure. Soligo is a Visiting Professor at the Università di Bergamo (Italy), where she teaches Sociology of Tourism. Her most recent interests center around two main topics: sustainable tourism in cultural landscapes and immigrant labor in...

Kazi Tamaddun

Grad Alumni Ambassador

Man Smiling
Kazi Tamaddun is a researcher in engineering systems, environmental sciences, and data analytics - currently working as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Resilient Urban Water Systems project under the Environmental Resilience Institute's Water Future Initiative at the University of Virginia. With a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from UNLV and a Post-Graduate Degree...